Hospitality has been one of the worst hit sectors by the recession with jobs being cut in each of the past nine months and the number of people employed in the sector falling at its fastest rate in 12 years.
The Chartered Institute for Purchasing and Supply index for the services sector found hotels and restaurants suffered the worst contraction as new orders slowed and prices were slashed.
The index rose slightly to 42.5 from 40.2 the previous month, where less than 50 shows a fall in activity, but this is close to the lowest level since 1996.
Meanwhile, the Report on Jobs by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and professional services firm KPMG found demand for staff had plummeted to a 12-year low in the past month. However, it reported that hoteliers were still struggling to fill skills gaps for chefs and butlers.
Ciara Hassan, acting HR director at the Landmark hotel group, admitted that hotels had a real challenge to develop skills internally to meet gaps.
"Like many hotels we have a recruitment freeze. The main issue here is to look at the talent pool that's within and keep them engaged and motivated," she told Caterersearch sister website PersonnelToday.com.
"We've always had a shortage of good chefs coming through before the recession]," Hassan added. "We're working to raise the profile of the profession and looking at how to get students and graduates to work with the company and getting them trained up in the key skills."
By Daniel Thomas
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